The 24-inch Boller & Chivens telescope and Orion photographed by CAA member Lynn Reihman. Click image to enlarge.
In cooperation with the Linn County Conservation Department, the CAA broke ground for an observatory at Palisades-Dows Preserve in 1987.
In addition to the Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center facility, which was completed in 2008, the observatory features two other buildings on the grounds that house permanently mounted telescopes.
The domed building, which was the original structure on the grounds, houses a 1970s-era Celestron
classical cassegrain telescope with a 16-inch mirror. This rare telescope was generously donated by The University of Iowa through the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Across the sidewalk from the 16-inch telescope is a wooden building with a roll-off roof that houses a refracting telescope with a 6-inch lens, the CAA's 14-inch Celestron Edge HD computer controlled telescope and several portable telescopes.
- The observatory is located on the southern edge of Palisades State Park at 1365 Ivanhoe Road. The facility is approximately 15 miles southeast of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
- See the Map to Pal-Dows page for details).
- Watch out for deer!
Electricity is supplied to all buildings and an illuminated walkway leads from the parking lot to the buildings and observing pads (also supplied with electrical power.)
While everyone is welcome to visit the observatory for scheduled Events, membership in the CAA entitles individuals to use of the facilities and society equipment.
EASTERN IOWA OBSERVATORY AND LEARNING CENTER
A quiet moment during the day at Pal-Dows.
The EIOLC facility is home to a 16-inch Meade imaging telescope and a superb 24-inch Boller & Chivens classical cassegrain telescope that was graciously donated by The University of Iowa through the efforts of Professor Steven Spangler and others in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. This telescope was refurbished and upgraded by members of the Cedar Amateur Astronomers and has been in service since early 2008 for public night events and group visits to the observatory.
Learn more about this project at the EIOLC Page.
Latest image from the all sky camera.